Writing and Language Ideologies

English 891WL: Writing and Language Ideologies

Course Description

Proceeding from a sociocultural approach to literacy and language, this seminar explores writing through the lens of language diversity, critically examining how writers work at the boundaries of languages. In reading, writing, and discussion, seminar participants will explore the following questions: How and why do everyday writers move among their languages? How do “soft boundaries” between languages impact writing in and outside of school? How are language beliefs and values used to control writing and whose interests do they serve? The course addresses these questions by exploring theoretical work from fields like world Englishes, applied linguistics, and bilingual education, as well as empirical studies of transnational literacy, translanguaging, and multilingual writing.

Course Objectives

In this course, you can expect to:

  • Gain insight into the ideologies that shape conversations on language diversity in writing;
  • Strengthen your critical reading and identify areas of theoretical, empirical, or pedagogical intervention;
  • Translate theoretical trends or research-based findings into teaching practices; and
  • Practice and produce common professional texts: conference proposals, presentations, book reviews.

Course Assignments

  • Book Review. Read a book of your choice from our course bibliography. Prepare an informal 10-minute presentation on how the book extends or complicates our course discussions. The review is due the day you present.
  • Language Activity with Reflection. Participate in one of the following language activities and reflect on your experience, incorporating course readings and conversations: 1) Support the writing activities of students in the Intensive English Program at the International Language Institute of Massachusetts. Tutor one hour per week for eight weeks. 2) Conduct a language history interview with a family member, transcribe it, and conduct one round of thematic coding on your collected data.
  • Conference Proposal. Choose a conference of interest to you and write a proposal about a topic related to writing and language ideologies. You can use your Language Activity as a case study or move in another direction.
  • Conference Presentation. Present your proposed conference idea-in-progress as part of an in-class panel with course colleagues. 
  • Conference Paper. Revise your presentation into a conference-length paper based on the feedback you received on your presentation.

Course Calendar    

Week 1


Introduction to course and to one another; discuss language and ideology:

·     Gee, James Paul. “Ideology.” Social Linguistics and Literacy. 2012.

·     Bhatt, Rakesh. “World Englishes.” Annual Review of Anthropology, 2001. 30: 527–50.

·     Crystal, David videos

Week 2


discuss standard languages:

·     Lippi-Green, Rosina. “The Standard Language Myth.” English with an Accent. Routledge, 2011.

·     Milroy, James. “Language Ideologies and the Consequences of Standardization.” Journal of Sociolinguistics, vol. 5, no. 4, 2001, 530-55.

·     Davila, Beth. “The Inevitability of ‘Standard’ English: Discursive Constructions of Standard Language Ideologies.” Written Communication 33.2 (2016): 127-48.

·     Trimbur, John. “The Dartmouth Conference and the Geohistory of the Native Speaker.”  College English 71.2 (2008): 142-69.

·     Schmidt, Ronald. “Defending English in an English-dominant world: The ideology of the “Official English” movement in the United States.” In Alexandre Duchene and Monica Heller, Eds. Discourses of Endangerment : Ideology and Interest in the Defense of Languages. London, GBR: Continuum International Publishing, 2008. p 197.

Week 3


discuss monolingualism:

·     Matsuda, Paul. “The Myth of Linguistic Homogeneity in U.S. College Composition.”  College English 68 (2006): 637- 51.

·     Horner, Bruce, and John Trimbur. “English Only and U.S. College Composition.” College Composition and Communication, 53.4 (2002): 594-630. 

·     Watson, Missy and Rachael Shapiro. “Clarifying the Multiple Dimensions of Monolingualism: Keeping Our Sights on Language Politics.” Composition Forum, vol. 38, 2018.

·     Flowers, Katherine S. “Resisting and rewriting English-only policies: Navigating multilingual, raciolinguistic, and translingual approaches to language advocacy.” Literacy in Composition Studies, 7.1 (2019): 67–89.

Week 4


discuss raciolinguistics:

·     Flores, Nelson, and Jonathan Rosa. “Undoing appropriateness: Raciolinguistic ideologies and language diversity in education.” Harvard Educational Review 85.2 (2015): 149-171.

·     Alim, H. Samy, John Rickford, and Arnetha Ball. “Introduction.” Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes Our Ideas About Race. Oxford University Press, 2016.

·     Seltzer, Kate, & Cati de los Ríos, C.V. (2018). Translating theory to practice: Exploring teachers’ raciolinguistic literacies in secondary English classrooms. English Education, 51(1), 49-79.    

·     Perryman-Clark, Staci. “African American language, rhetoric, and students’ writing: New directions for SRTOL.” College Composition and Communication, (2013): 469-495.

Week 5


discuss code-switching/meshing/mixing:

·     Nilep, Chad. “’Code Switching’ in Sociocultural Linguistics” Colorado Research in Linguistics 19 (2006): 1-22.

·     Elbow, Peter. “Why Deny Speakers of African American Language a Choice Most of Us Offer Other Students?” (2008). English Department Faculty Publication Series. 8.

·     Sebba, Mark. “Researching and theorizing multilingual texts.” In M. Sebba, S. Mahootian & C. Jonsson, eds. Language mixing and code-switching in writing. 2012.

·     Canagarajah, Suresh. “The Place of World Englishes in Composition: Pluralization Continued.” CCC 57.4 (2006): 586-619.

·     Young, Vershawn Ashanti. “‘Nah, We Straight’: An Argument Against Code Switching.” JAC, vol. 29, no.1/2, (2009): 49-76.

Week 6


discuss language boundaries:

·     Makoni, Sinfree & Alistair Pennycook. 2005. Disinventing and (re)constituting languages. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies: An International Journal 2(3):137-156.

·     Gal, Susan, and Judith T. Irvine. “The Boundaries of Languages and Disciplines: How Ideologies Construct Difference.” Social Research, 62.4 (1995): 967-1001.

·     Bou Ayash, Nancy. “Conditions of (Im)Possibility: Postmonolingual Language Representations in Academic Literacies.” College English, 78.6 (2016): 555-77.

·     Cook, Vivian. “Going Beyond the Native Speaker in Language Teaching.” TESOL Quarterly 33.2 (1999): 185-209.

Week 7


discuss translingual approaches:

·     Horner, Bruce and Sara P. Alvarez. “Defining Translinguality.” Literacy in Composition Studies 7.2 (2019): 1-30.

·     Lee, Melissa E. “Shifting to the World Englishes Paradigm by Way of the Translingual Approach: Code-Meshing as a Necessary Means of Transforming Composition Pedagogy.” TESOL Journal, 5.2 (2014): 312-329.

·     Schreiber, Brooke Ricker and Missy Watson. “Translingualism ≠ code-meshing: A response to Gevers’ ‘Translingualism revisited’. Journal of Second Language Writing 42 (2018): 94-97.

·     Gilyard, Keith. “The Rhetoric of Translangualism.” College English 78.3 (2016): 284-289.

·     1 of your choice from College English special issue on Translingualism

Week 8


discuss translanguaging:

·     Garcia, Ofelia and Jo Anne Kleifgen. “Translanguaging and Literacies.” Reading Research Quarterly (2019) 1-19.

·     Kiramba, Lydiah Kananu. “Translanguaging in the Writing of Emergent Multilinguals.” International Multilingual Research Journal, 11.2 (2017): 115-130.

·     Canagarajah, Suresh. “Negotiating Translingual Literacy: An Enactment.” Research in the Teaching of English 48.1 (2013): 40-67.

·     Saraceni, Mario and Camille Jacob. “Revisiting borders: Named languages and de-colonization.” Language Sciences 76 (2019): 1-10.

Special Issue Proposal Due



Spring Break

Week 9


discuss mobility:

·     Kroon, Sjaak, Dong Jie, and Jan Blommaert. “Truly Moving Texts.” Language, Literacy and Diversity: Moving Words. Eds. Christopher Stroud and Mastin Prinsloo. Routledge, 2015. 1-15.

·     Marko, Tamera, Mario Ernesto Osorio, Eric Sepenoski, and Ryan Catalani. “When the Student Receives an ‘A’ and The Worker Gets Fired: Disrupting the Unequal Political Economy of Translingual Rhetorical Mobility.” Literacy in Composition Studies 2.2 (2014): 21-43.

·     Lorimer Leonard, Rebecca. “Traveling Literacies: Multilingual Writing on the Move.” Research in the Teaching of English 48.1 (2013): 13-39.

·     Wang, Xiqiao. “Tracing Connections and Disconnects: Reading, Writing, and Digital Literacies across Contexts.” College Composition and Communication 70.4 (2019): 560-589.

·     Pennycook, Alastair. “Mobile times, mobile terms: The trans-super-poly-metro movement.” Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates, 2016. 201-216.

Week 10


discuss digital writing:

·     Cazden, Courtey, Bill Cope, Norman Fairclough, Jim Gee, et al. “A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures.” Harvard Educational Review 66.1 (1996): 60-92.

·     Androutsopoulos, Jannis. “Networked multilingualism: Some language practices on Facebook and their implications.” International Journal of Bilingualism 19.2 (2015): 185-205.

·     Martín, Cristina Sánchez, Lavinia Hirsu, Laura Gonzales, Sara P. Alvarez. “Pedagogies of Digital Composing through a Translingual Approach.” Computers and Composition 52, (2019): 142-157.

·     Kim, Sujin. “It was kind of a given that we were all multilingual”: Transnational youth identity work in digital translanguaging. Linguistics and Education. 2018

·     Schreiber, Brooke Ricker. “’I am what I am’: Multilingual identity and digital translanguaging. Language Learning & Technology 19.3 (2015): 69–87.

Lived Language Activity with Reflection Due

Week 11


discuss translation and brokering:

·     Gonzales, Laura. Chapters 4 and 5 in Sites of Translation: What Multilinguals Can Teach Us about Digital Writing and Rhetoric. University of Michigan Press, 2018.

·     Mihut, Ligia. “Literacy Brokers and the Emotional Work of Mediation.” Literacy in Composition Studies 2.1 (2014): 57-79.

·     Alvarez, Steven. “Brokering Literacies: Child Language Brokering in Mexican Immigrant Families.” Community Literacy Journal (2017): 1-15.

·     Simon, Kaia L. “Translating a Path to College: Literate Resonances of Migrant Child Language Brokering.” College Composition and Communication 71.1 (2019): 60-85.

·     Kiernan, Julia, Joyce Meier, and Xiqiao Wang. “Negotiating Languages and Cultures: Enacting Translingualism through a Translation Assignment.” Composition Studies 44.1 (2016): 89-107.

Week 12


discuss assessment:

·              Ferris, Dana. “Research timeline: Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing studies.” Language Teaching 45.4 (2012): 446-459.

·              Dryer, Dylan B. “Appraising Translingualism.” College English 78.3 (2016): 274–83.

·              Inoue, Asao B. “Writing Assessment as the Conditions for Translingual Approaches: An Argument for Fairer Assessments.” Crossing Divides: Exploring Translingual Writing Pedagogies and Programs. Eds. Bruce Horner and Laura Tereault. Utah State University Press, 2017. 119-133.

·              Poe Mya and Asao B. Inoue. “Toward Writing as Social Justice: An Idea Whose Time Has Comes.” College English 79.2 (2016): 119-126.

·              Perryman-Clark, Staci M. “Who we are(n’t) assessing: Racializing language and writing assessment in writing program administration. College English 79.2 (2016): 206-211.

·              Lee, Jerry Won. “Beyond Translingual Writing.” College English 79.2 (2016): 174-195.

Special Issue Article Initial Draft Due

Week 13


discuss policy:

·     Wible, Scott. Intro and Chapter 2. Shaping Language Policy in the U.S.: The Role of Composition Studies. Southern Illinois University Press, 2013.

·     Flowers, Katherine S. “Writing studies’ concessions to the English-only movement: Revisiting CCCC’s National Language Policy and its reception.” College Composition and Communication, 71.1 (2019)

·     Tardy, Christine M. “Enacting and Transforming Local Language Policies.” College Composition and Communication 62.4 (2011): 634-61.

Special Issue Article Revised Draft Due



Special Issue Article Due